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Preparation work begins for new residential development in east London

Preparation work begins for new residential development in east London

Work has begun on the demolition of the Westferry Printworks on the Isle of Dogs to pave the way for a major new residential scheme.

The demolition task has been begun by newspaper tycoon Richard Desmond, whose Northern and Shell company has owned the site since it set up offices there in 1982. The Express Group was based there for many years, but has now moved its premises. Once cleared, the 15-acre site will feature more than 700 homes.

These will be constructed in nine blocks along the outer edge of Millwall Dock, ranging in height from four storeys to 30, while the development will also include a secondary school and new offices. Mace is acting as development manager and the new homes will be a mix of affordable dwellings and properties sold on the open market.

Speaking about the project, Mr Desmond said he was "proud" of his firm's 35-year association with the area.

"I am therefore delighted to be implementing our vision for the next generation of Docklands residents with our new neighbourhood here in the centre of London’s Docklands, just minutes from Canary Wharf," he added.

Appropriately, given what week of the year it is, it was Mr Desmond's two-year-old son Valentine who got to do what every little boy would love to do and got the demolition underway.

He got to pull the levers on the plant equipment to start the job of tearing down the old printworks, the East London Advertiser reports.

Of course, clearing the site and carrying out the construction work will not be child's play, least of all when it comes to the tallest of the new blocks.

It is the latest residential development in a part of London that has already seen a number of commercial skyscrapers rising up in the last couple of decades. Last month, Treasury minister David Gawke met concerned locals worried that the population density of the Isle is rising too fast and the infrastructure is insufficient to support it.

Isle of Dogs Neighbourhood Forum chairman Richard Horwood told the East London Advertiser the area could soon be "more dense than Manhattan".

Image: iStock


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